Nurse Mercy Lynch is elbows deep in bloody laundry at a war hospital in Richmond, Virginia, when Clara Barton comes bearing bad news: Mercy's husband has died in a POW camp. On top of that, a telegram from the west coast declares that her estranged father is gravely injured, and he wishes to see her. Mercy sets out toward the Mississippi River. Once there, she'll catch a train over the Rockies and – if the telegram can be believed – be greeted in Washington Territory by the sheriff, who will take her to see her father in Seattle.
Reaching the Mississippi is a harrowing adventure by dirigible and rail through war-torn border states. When Mercy finally arrives in St. Louis, the only Tacoma-bound train is pulled by a terrifying Union-operated steam engine called the Dreadnought. Reluctantly, Mercy buys a ticket and climbs aboard.
What ought to be a quiet trip turns deadly when the train is beset by bushwhackers, then vigorously attacked by a band of Rebel soldiers. The train is moving away from battle lines into the vast, unincorporated west, so Mercy can't imagine why they're so interested. Perhaps the mysterious cargo secreted in the second and last train cars has something to do with it? Mercy is just a frustrated nurse who wants to see her father before he dies. But she'll have to survive both Union intrigue and Confederate opposition if she wants to make it off the Dreadnought alive.
About the Author Cherie Priest
Cherie Priest is a Florida native, born in Tampa in 1975. She graduated from Forest Lake Academy in Apopka, Florida in 1993. She moved around quite a bit as a child of an Army father, living in many places such as Florida, Texas, Kentucky, and Tennessee. She moved around regularly until college. In 2001 Cherie Priest left the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with an M.A. in Rhetoric/Professional writing, and in 1998 she graduated with a B.A. from Southern Adventist University in Collegedale, TN. Priest lived in Chattanooga, Tennessee for twelve years and it is there she both set her Eden Moore series and wrote the first two books. She currently resides in Seattle, Washington with her husband and her cat. Although Cherie Priest was raised Seventh-day Adventist, she has no further contact with the church and claims no religious affiliation. In addition to her novels, Priest was a reviewer for the Bram Stoker award-winning website Chiaroscuro and currently is a staff member of Subterranean Press. She is a regular attendee and panelist at DragonCon and several other genre conventions around the country such as Penguicon and Steamcon. She is also known for giving talks and writing articles about the hobby of urban exploration. Priest's published writing style thus far falls into the Southern Gothic genre as well as the Horror genre. She has also written a number of short stories, most of which can be categorized as Horror or Science fiction. Priest has expanded her style to include the burgeoning genre of Steampunk which can be best described as a fantastical alternate history or Neo-Victorian often involving modern technology powered by nineteenth century means. Priest has developed a large fan following and is considered one of the vanguards of the genre. The 2005 edition of her book Four and Twenty Blackbirds, represents an example of the emerging genre of blog fiction, because a substantial part of the work was serialized and promoted on her blog at LiveJournal. It was through this serialization that she obtained a large amount of interest in her work from both fans and industry professionals. It is common for Priest to post teasers of work in progress or finished work on her blog to promote her writing. Priest is very active online and since 2006 has held the distinction of being one of LiveJournal's top 100 bloggers.
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